Walking Is a Simple and Powerful Way to Get in Shape: You walk every day. You walk to your car, you walk to your kitchen, and maybe you walk your dog. It’s as natural as eating or sleeping, and you’ve probably been walking for a few decades. So it might surprise you to learn that this fundamental way of moving around is actually quite good for your health and wellbeing.
Walk Your Way to Fitness – All You Need to Know About Starting a Safe and Effective Walking Program
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[0:07] You walk every day. You walk to your car, you walk to your kitchen, and maybe you walk your dog.
It’s as natural as eating or sleeping, and you’ve probably been walking for a few decades. So, it might surprise you to learn that this fundamental way of moving
is actually quite good for your health and well-being.
[0:37] Hi my name is Biggi Fraley. I am The Arthritis Coach, and before I delve into today’s
episode, I have some great news to share with you that you have either been waiting for or at the very minimum been wondering about.
So, the good news is that we officially have show notes located on thearthritiscoach.com
website. They include the summaries, any resources mentioned, you can listen to the episode right there, you can download it
easily if you wish, and even better, you will have full access to the transcript,
in case you missed any part of the show or you are trying to remember something specific. You can just plug it into the search on the site, and you’ll be able to access it. And, just like
any professional podcast, to access
a particular episode’s show notes, you simply go to the arthritiscoach.com forward slash,
and the episode number. So, today is episode number 12, so it’s simply the arthritiscoach.com forward slash
12 – 1, 2. You leave off any leading zeros. So, I hope you enjoy it they are now finally available.
[2:00] And now on with today’s subject of walking, a simple and powerful way to get in shape.
Now, did you know that there are an abundance of mental, physical, and emotional benefits to walking? In fact walking has been shown to improve sleep,
treat depression, and to reverse chronic health conditions, like type 2 diabetes.
[2:25] It takes around 10 minutes to walk 1,000 steps.
[2:30] And, doctors have long recommended to walk about 10,000 steps a day, which is the equivalent of about 100 minutes of exercise.
Now, once you’ve achieved the 10,000 steps a day, you can increase the intensity, steps, and add other exercises into your day, so that you continue improving your health and fitness.
What’s uniquely wonderful about walking is that most everyone can do it. You don’t need any special skills to walk,
fancy and expensive equipment isn’t required, you can be in terrible health or good health and walk.
People all ages and abilities can benefit from walking.
You don’t even have to go outside to walk, a simple walking treadmill can help you exercise while you work, watch television, or keep an eye on young children.
[3:25] Walking is also a fitness activity that can be enjoyed on a schedule that fits your needs.
For example, if you have time to go for an hour-long walk in the morning, great. If you don’t have time for that you can break your walks up into 10 or 15 minute increments.
Take a short walk in the morning, at lunch, and in the early evening, I know that is my personal preference, to do it that way.
Now, because it’s an easy activity to engage in that doesn’t require a trip to the gym or specialty equipment,
you can really fit it into your life more easily. And, let’s face it, it’s a lot easier to talk yourself into taking a walk than it might be to head to the gym. Right?
[4:14] The mental and emotional benefits will keep you motivated.
Walking benefits your mind, body, and emotions, After a week or so you’ll be hooked.
So let’s start by talking about the amazing health benefits that walking delivers.
There are actually dozens of benefits of walking, and you will experience many of them for yourself when you begin your walking for fitness program.
However, there’s some life-changing benefits that are worth pointing out.
Number one, walking reduces your risk for coronary heart disease.
You might be surprised to learn that 50% of all deaths in the United States are directly related to heart disease. It’s the single biggest killer.
The good news is that regular physical activity, like walking, helps reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
Additionally, it can help you recover from a heart attack or heart surgery and reduce your risk of suffering another heart attack.
[5:22] Number two, walking reduces high blood pressure. High blood pressure has been called the silent killer. When you have high blood pressure,
your heart has to work harder to pump blood to your arteries, and this causes it to enlarge, which then puts you at risk for heart attacks, stroke, and heart failure.
When you walk at a heart pumping pace, you actually increase blood flow, so that your muscle cells get the oxygen that they need.
After exercise your blood pressure will be a bit lower than when you started.
This effect can last for a while. Additionally, walking and exercise can help clear up the things that cause high blood pressure, thus reducing your blood pressure and helping to bring it down to more normal levels.
Number three, walking improves your blood lipid profile, aka cholesterol.
[6:20] You may already know there are two types of cholesterol in your body. They are HDL, high-density lipoprotein, and
LDL, low-density lipoprotein. They are both needed to build and repair the walls of your cells.
However, too much LDL, which is often called the “bad cholesterol,” can raise your risk of heart disease and stroke.
In contrast, HDL is often called the “good cholesterol,” and is used to help remove fats from your bloodstream. So, if you don’t have enough HDL you end up with clogged arteries.
Walking and regular exercise help increase the HDL and lower LDL.
A healthy diet in combination with daily vigorous walking boosts the results.
Number four, walking helps you lose weight and keep it off.
[7:16] Obesity is one of the biggest contributors to disease. It causes cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and more. And, let’s face it, extra weight just isn’t comfortable.
Our lives are too sedentary. We sit too much.
Your body was meant to move, and it doesn’t have to move in Superstar athletic, seemingly superhuman ways.
You don’t have to do CrossFit, ride your bike across the country, or swim the English Channel to get fit.
You can walk like you were born to. As you walk, you begin to modify your metabolism.
You’ll burn more calories during the day, you’ll also burn calories as you walk.
Walk faster, burn more, walk longer, burn more. A life-long walking for fitness program will help you lose weight and keep it off.
[8:11] Number five, walking reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Walking helps you balance your blood sugar by getting your muscles burning the sugars. It increases the number of insulin receptors in your cells,
which in turn helps move the blood sugar into your cells, rather than lingering in your blood and making you insulin resistant.
And, if you want to boost the effect, walk after eating. It helps improve blood glucose control and burns more fat and calories.
[8:44] These are the five most talked about benefits of walking, but there are more. Let’s take a look at them next, because the benefits just keep coming. When you create a daily walking habit,
you’re going to be surprised just how much of an impact it has on your life.
We are talking about both, physical and mental improvements. You’ll feel better inside and out. S, o let’s take a look at these additional life-changing benefits of walking.
[9:17] Number six, enhanced mental well-being.
Exercise reduces stress. It’s been proven time and time again through numerous studies.
In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health concluded that
exercise relieves muscle tension, improves hormone regulation, and has a beneficial impact on how your body responds to stress.
Something as simple as a daily 30-minute walk at a brisk pace can reduce stress-related emotions including anger, depression, tension, sadness, anxiety, and more.
Exercise, including walking, is often prescribed by both physicians and psychiatrist as a way to manage and reduce the effects of stress and depression. For people with moderate depression,
daily exercise can significantly reduce symptoms, and for those with severe depression, walking and exercise are part of a management plan.
[10:20] But you don’t have to be stressed, depressed, or anxious to benefit from the mental benefits.
Walking can induce a state of calm. It helps you feel centered and gives you some perspective on your day and your life.
It gets your heart pumping, which drives oxygen to your tissues, including your brain.
This in turn helps release endorphins, that are known to help create a state of calmness and general well-being. If you want to find a way to increase your happiness, try going for a walk every day.
[10:56] Number seven, more energy and better sleep. Now who doesn’t need that, right? Would you like to sleep better? Would you like to have more energy during the day?
Walking can improve both. It can help even your energy levels during the day time and help you sleep better at night.
As your heart rate increases, it requires your muscles to use more energy. This in turn has the effect of boosting your metabolism, and helping to balance your blood sugar levels.
After a brisk walk you’ll feel energized for hours as your metabolism continues to hum along.
And, because you are requiring your body to perform extra work it needs to shut down and repair at night.
Your mind won’t race as you try to fall asleep. Your body’s needs will take over and you’ll sleep more soundly.
[11:51] Number eight, improved sex life.
According to a study of women age 45 to 55 – Yippee! – those that exercise and engaged in a walking for fitness program,
experience an increase in libido and improved sexual satisfaction. That’s enough to get you into those walking shoes and out the door, right?
Number nine, improved self-esteem. A walking for fitness program will help you enjoy life more and feel more positive about yourself.
Not only are you taking decisive action to control your life and your health,
you’ll also start feeling a sense of accomplishment and pride As your energy improves and you begin to lose weight, your self-esteem will increase to.
[12:44] And number ten, improved mobility.
When you walk, particularly on uneven surfaces like trails your body is required to balance and adapt.
This helps strengthen your bones, muscles, and tendons and ligaments. The result is improved mobility and a reduced risk of falls as you get older.
[13:10] You won’t have this benefit walking on the treadmill because it’s an even surface. However,
you still increase your mobility a bit by moving your body and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle.
When you sit and don’t move your muscles, they shorten. This reduces your ability to move comfortably.
Exercises, like walking, help restore natural movement.
[13:36] Okay, so you are motivated to start a walking for fitness program.
The benefits are fresh in your mind, and you know it’s as easy as putting on your shoes and walking.
[13:48] It’s a good idea to create a walking program that gradually increases over time. Don’t try to accomplish too much right away.
Walking for fitness is a habit you’re trying to add to your life. If you aim too high the new habit may feel too overwhelming.
Small steps help you build a pattern of success. They allow your body and your lifestyle the time you need to adapt to your new fitness walking program.
As you successfully reach your daily, weekly, and monthly goals, you’ll feel more confident and in control.
What’s a reasonable goal to set, you ask. Well, here are few examples: do 100 more steps each day.
Or, increase your pace by 10 seconds per mile each week, or add 5 minutes each week to your walking time.
All three of those goals probably sound manageable.
That’s the best way to approach a new fitness program. Before long, you’ll be walking 10,000 or more steps each day, clipping away at a four miles per hour pace, and walking for an hour and a half or more.
Walking is great for your mental and physical health. It’s easy to do, fun to do, and it takes very little to get started.
[15:11] I hope this information has whetted your appetite, and that by now you’re eager to get out and stretch those legs. But, before you do, I have prepared a little gift for you.
A complete walking guide in downloadable PDF format,
as always linked to in the show notes, that includes all the wonderful benefits I’ve shared with you today, PLUS, how to choose the best walking shoes, how to stay safe on your walks,
proper form to use, stretching before and after your walks,
as well as information on how to create an effective walking program from the beginner level and beyond. So, make sure to grab your copy at the arthritiscoach.com forward slash walking.
[16:01] And, as always, if you enjoyed the show, please do share it on your favorite social media outlets. I greatly appreciate it.
Now, next week is Thanksgiving here in the United States, so I have decided to lead by example when it comes to balance and setting priorities, and not publish a new episode next week,
even though my inner perfectionist is screaming at me! So, that means I will talk to you next on Wednesday. November 28th.
Simply make sure to subscribe in your favorite podcasting app and you won’t miss a thing.
I wish you Happy Holidays, and may you be blessed with plenty of people and things in your life to give thanks for.
[16:48] Bye bye.